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Wisconsin Red Cross volunteers headed to Florida to help with Hurricane Dorian

Posted at 12:05 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 14:21:58-04

Milwaukee, WI - As hurricane Dorian intensifies, heading toward the U.S. —the American Red Cross Wisconsin region is deploying a number of volunteers. They’ll head to the disaster zone for about 14 days helping where they can.

Nearly a dozen volunteers have signed up to go toward the disaster zone while most other people are running away. Owen Gaffney, also known as Skip, is one of those volunteers. He's proud to serve and considers it a blessing.

“I’m fulfilled," Gaffney said. "I am blessed to help others. I get to do this."

Gaffney is in his third year of volunteering with the Red Cross. Two years ago, he was deployed to Dallas, Texas for 14 days —that was his first time volunteering with hurricane disaster relief and an experience that’s left a lasting impression.

“The help that people [needed] was over the top. I couldn't believe that people came in there with just their shorts on and nothing, no identification, nothing,” Gaffney said.

The National Hurricane Center’s latest advisory confirms Hurricane Dorian is forecast to be a category four hurricane when it makes landfall in Florida over the Labor Day weekend —a projection that might deter some, but with a backpack over his shoulder and a red cross on his shirt, it only serves motivation for Gaffney on his mission to help.

“This is the worst part of their life, ever, and they just want somebody to dump on and talk to,” Gaffney said.

Gaffney is expected to be in Jacksonville, Fla. for 14 days. The Red Cross anticipates deploying more volunteers as needed.